Employment and Job Search
One of the conditions governing your entry into Canada is evidence of sufficient funds to cover all expenses. In assessing this, immigration officials do not take into account the possibility that you or your spouse may find work here. While you may be able to find a job and be given permission to accept it, you should not depend on financing your studies and living expenses by working in Canada alone.
Who Needs an Employment Authorization? If you are a full-time student and work on campus, you do not need an Employment. However, for off-campus employment in Canada you require an Employment Authorization. As a general rule, anyone who is not a Canadian citizen or Permanent Resident must have an Employment Authorization for all work in Canada. Normally the employer obtains the necessary approval (called a “confirmation of offer of employment”), by proving to a Canada Employment Center that no qualified Canadian is available for the job. This permits Canada Immigration to issue an Employment Authorization. This approval is usually very difficult to obtain. There are some special exemptions, however, which apply to students.
The following describes cases where Canada Employment Center approval is not required and where an Employment Authorization:a) is not required, or b) will be easy to obtain.
Campus employment – Full-time students who hold a valid Student Authorization do not require an Employment Authorization for work on the campus at which they are registered. The University’s definition of “full-time” is accepted. Students may work for the institution or for any private business located on the campus that provides service to the institution. On-campus jobs are listed at the Summer/Part-time/Temporary Employment Service at the Career Center. For example, at the University of Toronto, this service is open to current students and Recent Graduate Employment Service registrants only.
Employment as a course requirement – If the course in which you are registered requires all students to complete certain work in order to graduate, you will be permitted to accept employment, either on or off campus. Apply for the Employment Authorization with a letter from your Faculty indicating that the work is required. For this type of work the University will be listed as the employer and the expiry date should match that of your Student Authorization. This should mean that you will not have to get a new Employment Authorization for other relevant jobs that you may need to complete the required number of hours designated by your academic program. The normal processing fee will not be charged in this case.
Employment after graduation – Students may obtain an Employment Authorization for course-related work for up to 12 months after graduation. (This cannot be extended beyond 12 months. If you want to continue working after this period expires, the normal regulations which require a search for a suitable Canadian worker, will apply.) You must provide proof from the University/college that you have completed all your course requirements and are eligible to graduate, as well as information about the course of study completed. The employment must be “consistent with the area of study and of a type for which Canadian graduates in the same course of study would normally be recruited”. You must receive your employment authorization and commence employment within 90 days of completing your studies (i.e. the date that graduation results are available and graduation is assured). Keep in mind you must allow for the processing time (generally 25 days) of your employment authorization. If the Student Authorization expires before the end of this period, an extension will be granted. Graduating students may take advantage of this opportunity only once regardless of the number of degrees they complete. Students graduating from the University of Toronto are eligible to use the Graduating Students Employment Service and the Recent Graduate Employment Services of the Career Center to help with a job search.
Spouses – The spouse (non-student) of a person who holds a Student Authorization may obtain an Employment Authorization for work anywhere, without clearance, from a Canada Employment Center. The applicant must include proof that they are the spouse of a student. A specific job offer is not required. A person who has already passed an Immigration medical examination will receive an open Employment Authorization. If no medical has been taken, the Authorization will be restricted to those categories of work where health is not an issue. The Employment Authorization will have the same expiry date as the spouse’s Student Authorization. Spouses of post-doctoral fellows (except those from Australia and the UK), as well as scholars and others who hold an Employment Authorization are not exempt from the requirement for Canada Employment Center clearance.
Social Insurance Number – In order to work in Canada you must have both an Employment Authorization (unless the job is on campus) and a Social Insurance Number (SIN). Apply early for the SIN when you begin the job. It can take up to 5 – 6 weeks to issue a SIN, and until you have this number, an employer cannot pay you. Consult the Government section of the telephone directory under “Human Resources Development Canada – Employment and Insurance Centers” for information on locations where you can obtain a SIN. To apply, take your passport and Student Authorization for identification. Visitors are not eligible for a Social Insurance Number. Therefore, spouses must obtain an Employment Authorization before applying for a SIN.
Income Tax – Employment income, scholarships, and bursaries are all subject to Canadian income tax. Tax forms must be completed by April 30th. The International Student Center provides information and assistance before this deadline date, and will invite staff from the International Tax Services to give an Income Tax Workshop in March.
Employment and Job Search – We provides our clients with unparalleled assistance in locating employment opportunities in Canada. In the employment search field, our current membership provide applicants with information and employment services that address one of the more important concerns of our clients once they actually settle in Canada. We caution however that on the basis of our longstanding experience in representing Canadian corporations in their efforts to engage the services of foreign national employees, we believe it to be an advantage to those candidates who initially obtain permanent residence status prior to “entering” the Canadian labour market. This increases the marketability of a potential applicant from the prospective of a Canadian employer. If you have not already secured permanent residence to Canada you may wish to consider this as an important aspect of your employment search plans in Canada. We would be pleased to provide further insight into this area upon request. A world of opportunity: Hineni Media’s jobs database gathers Canadian opportunities in one location.